For those in my region the issue on the HOME page is by far the most important. For those elsewhere move to the top of your screen and select INFO. From there start with either Political or Economics. From there, select titles which you think will suit you.
In our region the entity which causes most controversy and which has seen the most changes of mind by boith supporters and opponents in short spans of time is The Murray-Darling Basin Authority.
The explosive official start was at the Yoogali Club in Griffith NSW on 15th December 2011. It saw the burning of the books and saw many mass demonstrations.
It was easy for us to be opposed to irrigation water being taken to scour out the Mouth of the Murray when nature had and continues to try to sand it up by tidal action. The 'Area News' newspaper said ‘An estimated 12,000 community members attended yesterday's Murray Darling Basin Authority meeting in Griffith, expressing dire concern about the draft Basin Plan’s potential impact on their futures, due to its proposed drastic water reductions.
‘About 280 local businesses closed for the morning to attend the fiery meeting and submit their views to the Authority’s community consultation process.
‘Buses trucked crowds to and from the Yoogali Club and black-armbands were worn by crowd members to signify their displeasure with the government’s proposed water planning measures. ‘Local Federal Riverina MP Michael McCormack attended the meeting as did NSW Nationals Senator, Fiona Nash.’ Prime Minister Tony Abbot flew in and said that he would not accept a bad plan.
Michael McCormack said he was proud of the Griffith community. “They’ve turned out en masse, in force, united, true and solid and they have given the Minister and the Authority Chairman, an unequivocal message that no-one will pull the economic rug out from underneath this region,” he said.
“It’s high time this government started listening to regional Australians and started taking heed of what they say. “We all like to eat but these Green based policies are not helping those who grow the food to feed this nation and keep thousands of rural communities alive.”
Griffith rice farmer John Casserly has been farming in the region since 1953 and said he saw the draft Plan as a major threat to his future by proposing to slash irrigation water by about 30 percent which would decimate primary production in the southern Basin community. Mr Casserly said he wore a black arm band to show the region was “mortally wounded” and facing “potential death”, with lower water entitlements in future. “I don’t think they’ve got it right,” he said of the draft Plan. “I’m expecting a few answers.
“There’s still a long way to go; we’ve got 20 weeks consultation and adjustment and the plan doesn’t come into play until 2019. “But the NSW Liberal government can still block the plan and will certainly come into play in a big way, if they don’t like it.”
Then came the betrayal which seems to be continuing to this day. When the vote came on the Murray Darling Basin plan the Liberals wanted to protect three seats in South Australia so they meekly surrendered to Labor and the Greens. The party room agreed to let Michael symbolically cross the floor to keep the party faithful on side. The power of advertising money and the ability to distort history saw Michel returned with an increased majority.
Michel publishes reports which swing wildly each way as the Coalition tries to judge what they can get away with. The Coalition was against the plan when there were huge BAN THE PLAN posters all over Griffith. When it was felt that irrigation water was safe the
signs came down they showed their true colours. It was a deadly betrayal.
Six years would have elapsed by the time this stage of the plan is seeking approval for the Sustainable Diversion Limit draft recommendation.
I was at a meeting on 12th September 2017. There were very professional presentations and probably half a dozen paid employees of MDBA to help those present to become more on side with the process. The total scope related to the environment. When question time came it was for those who wanted to ask how the environmental process was progressing towards this milestone.
Then the tone changed. There was a speaker who was not asking a question but presenting examples especially in relation to over bank flooding. His message was that the logic of MDBA environmental work in some instances is completely wrong. MDBA people knew him by name because it was apparent that he tries to inject some logic into the process every time they visit.
The chairman who is also the Chairman of MDBA called on the speaker to allow someone else to speak. The chairman was Neil Andrew a former Liberal Party member for 11 years. This gave me a chance to speak until I was asked to allow someone else to speak especially when I expressed my concern about being ignored by Barnaby Joyce for 4 years and indicating that I was less than impressed with him as Minister for Agriociculture
It was heart breaking to hear the next three speakers who were farmers. They expressed how they are being very adversely affected as the economic portion of the supposed triple bottom line is being sacrificed for environmental considerations. Later I met another farmer who walked out in disgust at what he felt was obvious bias towards the environment.
Later I met another farmer who walked out in disgust at what he felt was obvious bias towards the environment. Neil probably wanted to be seen as being even handed and allowed the first free thinking speaker who continued to present examples of MDBA illogical processes. It seems that Neil then felt that enough is enough so I got a second shot. By then time had run out.
Neil has a sense of fair play so during the tea break we had some heart to heart talks until it was time to catch the plane. However I believe that he dropped two clangors. After the meeting I did some research and found that the CEO Phillip Glyde who had to make the submission to Barnaby Joyce was appointed by Barnaby Joyce. Need I say more?
Reagrdless of how intelligent a person is, If I think that they are wrong I will say so. After Neil had gone I sent an email to him which is basically what I am going to work on next. Refer INFO- Economics- 'Tariff Reduction Consequences' I am prepared to debate this with anyone from Malcolm Turnbull down. Neil's response was that the two of us should no longer communicate. My answer was to say that I acept that. 'I will not talk to you but I will talk about you.'
A by-election is coming up and I will be challenging anyone and everyone to debate these issues.
The picture directly above is shown a few times in this web site. I was there on that day and I know people in this pictgure. Already I am firing political salos at Neil and MDBA. These magnificent and hard working people need justice.
Suggestions have been made for a BAN THE PLAN Revival but there was no response
from Griffith City Council,Business Chamber,Kindergarten (oops University) of the Third Age and other organisations. There was not a peep of interst. At least those of us who were there can remember that once we had spirit.